The Establishment Democrats' Backlash Against Insurgent Progressives

Photo: Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle via AP

"Corporate Democrats are extremely worried about the wave of progressive enthusiasm that is sweeping the country..."

July 2018 Article From Common Dreams

"Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump," as Seitz-Wald explains.

The problem with this approach, as many commentators have noted, is that it was tried in 2016—and it failed miserably."

Corporate Democrats are extremely worried about the wave of progressive enthusiasm that is sweeping the country in red and blue states alike, and—according to a report by NBC News on Sunday—they are beginning to organize a "counterrevolution" to beat it back.

Ignoring survey after survey showing that progressive priorities like Medicare for All, a living wage, and tuition-free public college are overwhelmingly popular among the American public, Democratic politicians and operatives with the notorious think-tank Third Way used an invite-only event in Columbus, Ohio on Friday to tout an alternative agenda that centers on "opportunity" and access rather than equality—a platform that explicitly avoids alienating the ultra-wealthy.

"You're not going to make me hate somebody just because they're rich. I want to be rich!" Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) said during last week's closed-door event, which was titled "Opportunity 2020."

"Once again," added Third Way president Jon Cowan, "the time has come to mend, but not end, capitalism for a new era."

As NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald notes, the "anxiety" centrist Democrats have felt about the rousing campaigns of democratic socialists and bold progressives like New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Michigan's Abdul El-Sayed "has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors."

But now, with organized events and more frequent interviews with the press, corporate Democrats and strategists are beginning to openly state their plans to undercut surging progressive momentum, "with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop" Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) if he decides to launch another bid for the presidency, Seitz-Wald reports.

"Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems," Seitz-Wald writes. ...
Read full article at Common Dreams

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